Pakistan in New Zealand 2009-10 November 21, 2009

Peter Fulton 'surprised' at Test call-up

Cricinfo staff

Peter Fulton, the New Zealand and Canterbury batsman, has said he was "surprised" to be included in the 13-member squad for the first two Tests against Pakistan. Jesse Ryder's absence through injury has given Fulton a chance to cement his place in the middle order a day after he helped Canterbury beat Otago in the Plunket Shield.

"It's a nice surprise to get, especially after a game like that," Fulton told the Press. "When I missed out on the [New Zealand Invitation] team to play [Pakistan] down in Queenstown, I was obviously pissed off. At the back of your mind, you always sort of know that if you score enough runs you can force your way into contention, and that's how it's worked out.

"Missing out on Queenstown was obviously an indication that I wasn't really in the frame last week, but the runs I've scored this week has helped push my case."

Fulton made 172 in the first innings against Otago to help Canterbury post 440 and then hit 77 as they declared on 265 for 5 in the second, setting Otago a massive 471 to win. They were bowled out for 355.

"I was really pleased with how I batted, actually," said Fulton. "Just the amount of time I was able to spend at the crease and the tempo that I batted with. It was quite even all the way through."

Fulton, 30, has not played a Test since December 2008 and was eager to improve on improve on a batting average of 24.72 from eight matches. "The last nine to 12 months have obviously been pretty disappointing selection-wise, and missing out on a [New Zealand Cricket] contract," he said. "I've had time to reassess where I'm at, and Test cricket is where I want to be, and I worked pretty hard over the winter."